Simple Definition of spasm
: a sudden uncontrolled and often painful tightening of a muscle
: a sudden and usually brief occurrence of something you cannot control
Full Definition of spasm
1 : an involuntary and abnormal muscular contraction
2 : a sudden violent and temporary effort, emotion, or sensation <a spasm of creativity> <spasms of pain>
Examples of spasm in a sentence
a disease that causes muscle spasms
He was racked with coughing spasms.
She was suffering spasms of guilt.
Origin and Etymology of spasm
Middle English spasme, from Anglo-French espasme, from Latin spasmus, from Greek spasmos, from span to draw, pull
First Known Use: 14th century
SPASM Defined for Kids
Definition of spasm for Students
1 : a sudden uncontrolled and often painful tightening of muscles <back spasms>
2 : a sudden, strong, and temporary effort, emotion, or outburst <a spasm of coughing> <a spasm of guilt>
Medical Definition of spasm
1: an involuntary and abnormal contraction of muscle or muscle fibers or of a hollow organ (as an artery, the colon, or the esophagus) that consists largely of involuntary muscle fibers
2: the state or condition of a muscle or organ affected with spasms <the renal artery went into spasm>
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up spasm? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).